Nearby words

  1. contraception,
  2. contraceptive,
  3. contraceptive device,
  4. contraceptive sponge,
  5. contraclockwise,
  6. contract bond,
  7. contract bridge,
  8. contract furniture,
  9. contract labor,
  10. contract of employment


    put out a contract on, Slang. to hire or attempt to hire an assassin to kill (someone): The mob put out a contract on the informer.

Origin of contract

1275–1325; (noun) Middle English (< Anglo-French) < Latin contractus undertaking a transaction, agreement, equivalent to contrac-, variant stem of contrahere to draw in, bring together, enter into an agreement (con- con- + trahere to drag, pull; cf. traction) + -tus suffix of v. action; (v.) < Latin contractus, past participle of contrahere

10. expand.

Related forms

Synonym study

1. See agreement. 10. Contract, compress, concentrate, condense imply retaining original content but reducing the amount of space occupied. Contract means to cause to draw more closely together: to contract a muscle. Compress suggests fusing to become smaller by means of fairly uniform external pressure: to compress gases into liquid form. Concentrate implies causing to gather around a point: to concentrate troops near an objective; to concentrate one's strength. Condense implies increasing the compactness, or thickening the consistency of a homogeneous mass: to condense milk. It is also used to refer to the reducing in length of a book or the like. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for contract bridge

contract bridge


the most common variety of bridge, in which the declarer receives points counting towards game and rubber only for tricks he bids as well as makes, any overtricks receiving bonus pointsCompare auction bridge


verb (kənˈtrækt)

to make or become smaller, narrower, shorter, etcmetals contract as the temperature is reduced
(ˈkɒntrækt) (when intr, sometimes foll by for; when tr, may take an infinitive) to enter into an agreement with (a person, company, etc) to deliver (goods or services) or to do (something) on mutually agreed and binding terms, often in writing
to draw or be drawn together; coalesce or cause to coalesce
(tr) to acquire, incur, or become affected by (a disease, liability, debt, etc)
(tr) to shorten (a word or phrase) by the omission of letters or syllables, usually indicated in writing by an apostrophe
phonetics to unite (two vowels) or (of two vowels) to be united within a word or at a word boundary so that a new long vowel or diphthong is formed
(tr) to wrinkle or draw together (the brow or a muscle)
(tr) to arrange (a marriage) for; betroth

noun (ˈkɒntrækt)

a formal agreement between two or more parties
a document that states the terms of such an agreement
the branch of law treating of contracts
marriage considered as a formal agreement
  1. (in the bidding sequence before play) the highest bid, which determines trumps and the number of tricks one side must try to make
  2. the number and suit of these tricks
  1. a criminal agreement to kill a particular person in return for an agreed sum of money
  2. (as modifier)a contract killing
Derived Formscontractible, adjectivecontractibly, adverb

Word Origin for contract

C16: from Latin contractus agreement, something drawn up, from contrahere to draw together, from trahere to draw

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for contract bridge
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for contract bridge


[kən-trăkt, kŏntrăkt′]


To reduce in size by drawing together.
To become reduced in size by or as if by being drawn together, as the pupil of the eye.
To acquire or incur by contagion or infection.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Culture definitions for contract bridge


A legally binding agreement between two or more parties.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.